History Of Nicaragua

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One of the most disputed superimposed borders within Latin America is the Colombian-Nicaraguan dispute concerning sovereignty over the maritime features located between both countries in the Caribbean Sea. For 11 years, Nicaraguan lawyers have argued that nearly 50,000 square kilometers of Colombian sea in truth belonged to the Central American state. The area in question includes the archipielago of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina, a group of tropical islands surrounded by coral reefs. The archipielago is located 482 miles from the Colombian coast and just 140 from Nicaragua, but has been settled by Colombians since the 19th century.

In the 1800’s, Colombia was part of a larger territory called the Gran Colombia in South America, while Nicaragua was part of United Provinces of Central America (UPAC), a similar governing body within Central America. The precise origins of this dispute between both countries vary, although historians believe it began around 1803 when the islands where made part of the Providence of Cartagena, now part of Colombia’s main land. After the Republic of Gran Colombia gained independence in 1822, the native inhabitants of the island voluntarily adhered to the governance of the then Colombian state. However, the UPAC failed to recognize the occupation of the islands and claimed ownership over them, which Colombia protested. The UPAC dissolved in civil war in 1830, and, the resulting state of Nicaragua carried on with the dispute.

Colombia later established a local administration on the islands; with the Esguerra-Bárcenas treaty in 1928 and both countries temporarily resolved the dispute in favor of Colombia. However, since 1980, when the Sandinista government a...

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...n order to cater to worldwide needs, but also to seek to become a richer country by exploiting the natural resources with little or no concern for the environmental repercussions this may have. The Nicaraguan government also constantly states that the islands are closer to their coast than that of Colombia’s, a weak argument considering the history Colombia has with the territory.

For the past 200 years, Colombia and Nicaragua have been disputing ownership over the maritime border near San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. After originally being under Colombian control, the ICJ extended Nicaragua’s maritime borders. However, Nicaragua’s intentions are purely economic while Colombia’s are more vested in the culture and wellbeing of both the natives and the environment. Therefore, the ICJ should return the maritime sovereignty to Colombia.

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